” La Silicon Valley est le microcosme des excès du capitalisme “

If the “techies” of Silicon Valley had still doubts about their image in the rest of the country, they were built. Beyond Palo Alto, the setbacks of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) did not attract a lot of compassion. All weekend, social networks have resonated sarcasm of Internet users with regard to an environment which generally cares for the collateral damage of its innovations. “Sell the private jets,” advised one of them.

The collapse of the SVB bank was welcomed with cynicism comparable to contempt for libertarians for the “Big Government”. Investors in venture capital, like Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square, may have multiplied the warnings, add to disaster scenarios, to affirm that national security was in danger and that, ultimate scarecrow, China was going to take advantage of the situation To deprive the United States of the next Google and SpaceX, nothing has shaken the animated wall. “And now they want a bailout of the government? I am laughing,” said another commentator.

inequalities are widening

The time does not lend itself to shed tears on tech. The sector has benefited a lot from the pandemic, it struggles to face the return to realities. Since the spring of 2022, industry has had to dismiss some 200,000 employees – 10,000 in the valley alone. The scandals accumulate. Latest: the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrencies platform ftx.

Above all, inequalities are widening. According to the annual report of the joint venture silicon valley institute , published on February 17, the gap between rich and poor increased in 2021 in the capital of technologies (by 5 %), while it decreased in the rest of the country (by 3 %) . Enclave of 120 square kilometers south of San Francisco, the valley has 85 billionaires and 163,000 millionaires. In 2022, 10 % of the inhabitants had 66 % of the region’s total fortune. The richest 1 %: 36 % of resources.

On their own, eight taxpayers weigh more than 500,000 inhabitants, half of the regions in the region. Seven of these very large fortunes come from technologies: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, Eric Schmidt, who was for a long time the CEO of the search engine; Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder; Jensen Huang, from Nvidia; Jan Koum, the creator of Whatsapp; And Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. The eighth is Charles Schwab, the founder of the finance giant that bears his name.

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